I Have Cancer



Cancer Support Richmond (UK)

I Have Cancer.  Find Help At Cancer Support Richmond, 5 Kew Road, Opposite Richmond Station.

The way you experience the impact of cancer is unique to you. You were unique before cancer.  Your illness does not change that.

There is a no ‘one size fits all’ solution to dealing with it – during treatment or life after cancer treatment. Wherever you are at on your cancer journey, you know this takes emotional and physical stamina.

It is normal to experience a whole range of changing emotions like feeling overwhelmed and numb, frightened, angry, hopeless and traumatised.  You may not recognise yourself anymore.  You may fear that you have lost yourself forever.

There are feelings common to those diagnosed with cancer:

Disbelief – when will I wake up from this nightmare?

Bereavement and loss – for your life the way you knew it, for your body, your job and financial security, social status, purpose in life, control over your life.

Anger – why me? You feel isolated and irritated with those around you.

Finding it difficult to make life-style changes (eg regards diet, smoking or drinking alcohol).

Uncertainty – over the success of treatment, your future.

Fear – will I die of cancer, when? Has the cancer come back?

Blame – was it my life-style, others, work who contributed to it?

Being passive – I just want it all to go away.

Feeling depressed.

Treatment experience – feeling unwell and ‘not yourself’ (eg cognitive and physical impairment).

It is not unusual to feel this way. The risk is to get stuck and to become all-consumed by some of these emotions.

Talking about your experience can help at various stages of the cancer journey:

– after diagnosis and before treatment;

– before telling others;

– during treatment;

– after treatment;

– preparing for life with cancer;

– dealing with a terminal diagnosis.

Talking about your experience can help you work through these feelings and accompany you through the various stages of your journey. Over time this can help you feel re-energised and enable you to step back and explore choices you have regards the rest of your life.

Also see Life After Cancer Treatment

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